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The Vanishing Velazquez
In October of 1845 a bookseller in Reading, named John Snare, bought a painting at auction.
The painting was grimy and dry, and Snare bought it a price so low that he began to doubt his original notion that it was a portrait of a young Charles I, and of significant value.
Snare cleaned it up, and then set out to discover what he could of its provenance, and eventually became convinced that it was a royal portrait, and that it had been painted in Spain by Diego Velazquez. Proving it was harder to do.
His attachment to this painting led Snare a long and eventually blasted life, but that forms only a part of this fascinating book. The life and career of Velazquez forms the other part, and Laura Cumming brings to this aspect such a degree of enthusiasm and reverence that you'll be out looking for examples of his work before you finish the book.
Cumming has fashioned a masterful combination of art and history, obsession and mystery, with a gusto that proves irresistible and with the skill and pace of a novelist.
Informed and informative, The Vanishing Velazquez satisfies on every level.
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- Age of Greed by Jeff Madrick
- Annie's Ghosts by Steve Luxenberg
- Day for Night by Frederick Reiken
- House of Cards by William D. Cohan
- In Europe by Geert Mak
- In Europe's Shadow by Robert D. Kaplan
- Paradise Lost by Giles Milton
- People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
- Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
- The (Complete) Story of a Crime
- The Darkroom of Damocles by W.F. Hermans
- The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
- The Vanishing Velazquez
- Travels With Herodotus by Ryszard Kapuscinski
- Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd